Austin, TX founded SXSW has announced new keynote speakers who will take part in the fully-online rendition of the renowned music festival. After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will take an innovative approach in 2021 by providing attendees with a state-of-the-art digital experience that will include conference keynotes and sessions, film screenings, music showcases, valuable networking opportunities and more. SXSW Online will take place March 16 through March 20, 2021, and announcements are still to come regarding who will be making appearances at the festival.
Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer of SXSW says that they’re “truly excited about the remarkable range of creative talent and innovators” that have been recently announced. Diving into serious conversations about culture, entertainment, technology and more, the online festival will feature speakers such as New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and political leader Stacey Abrams, as well as Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, bestselling author and environmentalist Carole King.
Award-winning rapper, songwriter, actor, entrepreneur and co-creator of the STARZ TV show Power, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has also been announced as a speaker, and he will be joining cast members of Power Book II, Power Book III and Power Book IV, including Mary J Blige, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Michael Rainey Jr., Patina Miller, Mekai Curtis and Joseph Sekora. The stars will meet for a featured discussion about the ongoing legacy of the Power universe, information regarding upcoming seasons, the future of iconic characters and more. The artist has recently encountered some backlash in October of 2020 for publicly endorsing Donald Trump as president.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee and author of bestselling titles Our Time is Now and Lead from the Outside, Stacey Abrams will engage in a conversation with fellow author N.K. Jemisin, author of the New York Times bestselling book The City We Became. Forrest explains that the conversation between Abrams and Jemisin will work to “tap into the kind of creative energy that only happens at SXSW.” Having served 11 years in Georgia’s House of Representatives, Abrams is also the founder of the organization Fair Fight, an organization that promotes fair elections in Georgia and the rest of the United States, encourages voter participation and provides education to voters.